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Statistical Literacy and Science Communication: Interdisciplinary Workshop

September 29, 2022 @ 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

The purpose of the workshops is to explore and build research ideas at the intersections of scientific
and statistical evidence, media reporting, and their influence on public policies and behaviour.
We bring together academics from Durham University, across multiple disciplines to discuss these
issues, create networks and generate proposals for future research.


Workshop 2: Science Communication: Thursday 29 September 2022, 1pm-5pm, Cosin’s Hall (IAS)
Science communication relies on expertise, accountability, and trust. The public looks to scientific
experts for decision-making. However, expert advice can change as new results emerge. Whilst this
is naturally evident to many scientists, dealing with uncertainty has been met with a level of
scepticism and lack of trust from the public.
To start the discussion, we have invited science journalist Tom Chivers. Tom writes for the i
newspaper and has won the Royal Statistical Society’s award for statistical excellence in journalism
(2018, 2020) as well as the Association of British Science Writers’ science journalist of the year (in

Some key questions for discussion:

  • Why do people trust experts? How do they decide who is, and who is not, an expert?
  • How do experts communicate the uncertainty associated with scientific evidence?
  • How can (or should) institutions and the public hold scientific experts accountable?

We will provide a light lunch during the workshops, and you are invited in the evening to dinner at a
local restaurant. You are welcome to attend one or both workshops.
For questions, contact the workshop organisers David Chivers and Susanne Braun. Please email
david.chivers@durham.ac.uk to confirm your attendance.


September 29, 2022
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Institute of Advanced Study, Cosin’s Hall, Seminar Room
Palace Green
Durham, County Durham DH1 3RL United Kingdom
+44 191 334 2589
View Venue Website


Dr David Chivers

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